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The EU Referendum

by jackdavies on 23 February, 2016

So here we are at last. On the 23rd of June, the people of the United Kingdom will be the given the option to vote for the UK to remain in the European Union or to leave the European Union. I, for one, sincerely hope that we continue to enjoy the benefits that being a member of the European Union gives us.

I have spent many months speaking with local business owners and residents in the New Forest on the subject of the European Union. Funnily enough, nearly everyone I spoke to agreed with me! The European Union isn’t perfect, in fact far from it, but without it our economy would be in a worse shape than it is now. That stance has been matched by news today that fear of leaving the EU has caused the pound to fall to a seven year low (see more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-21/pound-falls-most-in-3-months-as-johnson-backs-brexit-campaign).

Furthermore, according the Office for National Statistics, the EU accounts for 45% of our exports and 53% of our imports (see more: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/international-transactions/outward-foreign-affiliates-statistics/how-important-is-the-european-union-to-uk-trade-and-investment-/sty-eu.html). Based on this data alone, it is easy to see just how risky leaving the free market would be for trade.

There’s two simple reasons why I back Britain remaining a major member of the European Union: I’m a Liberal Democrat. A liberal understands that access to a free market is necessary for a strong economy and a democrat knows that the decision making process must be as democratic as possible.

My worry is that leaving the EU will mean no access to the free market that we rely on for jobs and businesses and a lack of democratic oversight in the deals we make from then on in. With the EU, we have 76 MEPs working on our behalf who propose and vote on legislation. If we want to access the free market from outside the European Union, we must do so without those MEPs whilst still paying into the EU budget.

I want to remain part of a strong, united country that has the means to look after its citizens. That is why I’m voting to remain.

I hope you choose to do so too.

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